Writing through Pain and Confusion Plus Shareworthy Reading and Writing Links

Sometimes, it feels like the bad news will never end. Day after day, the headlines shout at us about violence, racism, hatred, deceit, murder, exploitation, and cruelty. The suffering we are faced with each day is almost too much to take. From the most appalling scenes of war to the meanness visited on an individual animal, each horrific act pierces our hearts, leaving tiny scars that we must quickly heal in order to continue functioning in the world.

But, as writers, it is impossible to stop our minds from extrapolating each headline into an endless and ever-expanding universe of stories. We reconstruct the tragedies in our minds with the hard clarity, realism, and depth of emotion that is part of the storyteller’s craft. We ask questions, ponder the “what ifs,” and – perhaps most frightening of all – we project ourselves into the future, playing out the possible ways the story might end.

I do not despair that all is lost, but we do seem – as a global culture – to be living through some particularly dark times. I want to write that these are “trying” times, but that seems a deeply inadequate way to describe them.

I hardly have coherent thoughts to offer, never mind answers, as heartbreaking headlines continue to pour in from around the globe. But, in case you are feeling, as I am, a little overwhelmed this week, I thought I would re-share a few posts from the archives – posts that might offer a small comfort or at least reassurance that you are not alone in feeling the hurts of the world.

Be well. Have hope. Write on.

_jamie sig




In Troubled Times, Write.

When things get stormy, writing brings a light into the darkness.I’ve been struggling with something lately. Though I intentionally minimize my news consumption (and try to restrict myself to the least sensationalist sources), I can’t help but notice that the world has gone a little mad. It’s scary out there. (Read more …)

Imagine a World of Writers
"Dear, Earth" by Katie Daisy via etsy

“Dear, Earth” by Katie Daisy via etsy

More people should write.

They should write about their days and their dreams, about their hopes and their fears, about their families and their histories and their possible futures. They should write lists and poems and wild ramblings that sound like the intoxicated rantings of a idiot savant. They should tell stories, wonderful, improbable, made-up stories. They should sink or dig or dive or fall or claw their way into that place inside where the stories live, and pull them out like blunt-edged gems from deep within the living, breathing earth. (Read more …)

Why Writing Matters

free diverSometimes, the gravity of real life threatens to pull me out of my creative orbit. The inescapable responsibility of being human weighs heavily – the “Real World” of work, relationships, and surviving on this fragile planet crushing in on me like pressure on an ascending deep sea diver. (Read more…)

 Books I’m Reading:

book abhorsenThis week, I finished listening to the third book in Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom series, Abhorsen. I think that the Kirkus review says it all:

“Terror, courage, bitterness, love, desperation, and sacrifice all swirl together in an apocalyptic climax that pits both Life and Death together against the destruction of everything … This one is breathtaking, bittersweet and utterly unforgettable.”

When things feel too scary in the real world, I take comfort from stories in which good triumphs over evil. Reading these tales almost becomes a kind of mantra to keep the feelings of hopelessness at bay. I am inspired, even though I know intellectually that the characters I’m reading about are not real. Though they may not live and breathe in this world, they were dreamed up and brought to life by someone who believes that such courage and goodness can exist.

··• )o( •··

My Favorite Blog Reads for the Week:





Finally, a quote for the week:

Instead of a quote this week, a little song with a big truth.

Here’s to loving and being loved.
Jamie Lee Wallace Hi. I’m Jamie. I am a content writer and branding consultant, columnist, sometime feature writer, prolific blogger, and aspiring fiction writer. I’m a mom, a student of equestrian arts, and a nature lover. I believe in small kindnesses, daily chocolate, and happy endings. Introduce yourself on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. I don’t bite … usually.

26 thoughts on “Writing through Pain and Confusion Plus Shareworthy Reading and Writing Links

  1. Woke up four thirty am , immediately thinking about the violence hate, counter hate and unrest growing. ‘fired up my laptop and went to word press. So glad to come across this post. thank you, there a starting point on how to write about about times like these.

    • I’m sorry that you had to wake up to such thoughts, but I’m glad you found a starting point with this post. We all have to find our own way, but it’s nicer when we can at least travel side by side … even if the company is just virtual. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Manny's words & works

  3. Despite the violence, pain, racism and the many other evils this world is producing, there are people who are “trying”. So many people are attempting to make a difference. So many people are including rather than excluding. So many people are standing up and fighting. The negative world has the advantage of being more media adept.
    I have found the news quite terrible for the past few years, so I turned it off. Instead, I listened to other people’s reaction to the news. They show indignation and anger. They want something better–and some of them are doing it. Some of them are making a difference. The only problem is that it takes time for that difference to register.
    As for us writers (I shouldn’t include myself in that group, but I will) have something to write against. We will get out voices out there. We have the ability to inspire.
    So don’t despair.
    As for the news, they will only acknowledge us (probably by giving our generation a name that will be poignant but superfluous) only long after the fact.

    • I share much of your experience. I rarely watch the news because most of the time it seems designed to inspire fear and incite the very anger and hatred that we’re all trying to escape. I sometimes feel guilty that I’m not as “informed” as maybe I ought to be, but ultimately I’ve decided that I want to focus on the good things in life … and creating more of them, for myself and for everyone.

      You’re right. We shouldn’t despair. People are trying to make things better. And we are raising our voices in ways that were not possible before the Internet and mobile media. While digital technology is playing a big role in revealing the hurts of this world, I think it’s also playing a big part in healing them. We have always all been connected, we just couldn’t always see it until now.

  4. I know so well how you feel and have been bloggin about the racial violence and tension and even the political upheaval in the U.S. I think writers like us here at WordPress can make a difference. We have to keep writing. Keep spreading our messages. Maybe it will help.

    • I haven’t really found my voice yet, when it comes to writing directly about the issues at hand. I have only written a few pieces that touch on the specifics of what’s happening and my feelings. But, I agree – writers have a chance to make a huge difference. With today’s technology and the power of the Internet and social media, we have an unprecedented opportunity to be heard. I hope it will help.

  5. I think there are quite a few artists and writers who are feeling like that now, who are questioning their own perceived impotence and ‘over-sensitivity’ to bad news. On darker days it’s easy to get despondent, on brighter days I try to tell myself that changing even one person’s point of view through words and appeal to their imagination is still better than despairing. And doing nothing at all.

    • I think you’re right, Marina. I do sometimes feel over-sensitive, but that’s part of who I am. And it’s part of what makes me want to write in the first place. I don’t think it always has to be about changing anyone’s point of view though. Sometimes, it’s about finding the points of alignment in our stories. It’s about connecting the dots so we can see what we share, instead of drawing lines to show how we’re different. But whether we’re changing minds or simply connecting, doing something is better than doing nothing. Always.

  6. dear Jamie You did it again, I thought I was the only lonely mourner that laments from inside how bleak and wicked this world is threading with unruffled anguish and the legion of discontent you will expect writers conscience will ordinarily tolerate,Other than the familiar,frequent violence evident in online news yahoo,,msn etc there are a maze in my country on corruption and public looting beyond measure! How can we cope? can we change the world as freelance writers ?Can we synergies with artists And specialists and related entertainers to repair our mood, Gbemi TIJANI Sent from my iPad

  7. you re right, the 21 st century rapidly brings about news and event s of contracting values and morality,shouldn’t the. Creator -knowing the human friailities intercede for the sake of world believers who revere You ‘

  8. Dear Anthony
    Your thinking is relevant. But what if writers are in the jaws of those who control the economy as for instance the world wealth is controlled by barely 2% nd moretgan 85% are in the Left quandrant of Robert Kiyosaki

  9. Comforting yes thank you. I passionately believe the role for writers in the age in which are living is to bring to the world with the gifts we possess stories that maybe reflect understanding of all pain and sorrow but do not bring more in the writing but rather project always to the Hope of better and memories of uplifting and positive aspects of life. I’m personally struggling to portray the grief and sorrow of a family (fiction) through two world wars but journey with them always to the Hope of better. Cheers!

    • Yes, Faye. There is something about helping to create compassion through shared stories that I think can have a very powerful influence in the world. Sometimes, when we are hurting, it can feel like the entire world is out to “get us.” But if we are able to step back and see – through story – that the whole world is hurting, maybe we’d feel less alone and have a greater capacity to understand and empathize and help.
      It’s a long road, I’m sure, but one worth traveling.

  10. These dark times do seem to sap one’s energy, and on some days it’s hard to find the positive nudge. I get my nudges from reading and sharing thoughts with bloggers like you: we can inspire each other to honour our “duty” to use our gift of writing to try to keep spreading positivity.

    • It is a challenge to stay positive sometimes, but – you’re so right – knowing that we are “all in this together” can make even the hardest day easier. Though each of us is only a small light, together we can shine a bright light.

  11. Sorry I’m late here Jamie, but I just wanted to thank you for your great links this week, and for posting that gorgeous song. Just what I needed. Gareth Nix is Australian! I think my son will like him 😊

    • Hi, Sara!
      Now I’m the one who’s late. 😉
      Glad you enjoyed the posts & hope your son does end up liking Garth Nix’s work.

  12. Pingback: On Being Human and a Writer Plus Shareworthy Reading and Writing Links | Live to Write – Write to Live

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s